It's a big word but we all know the feeling. And can (I think) all agree it’s PRETTY awesome.
But did you know there are three different ways in to JOY. And they’re not all created equal.
Here's the science. And why you get what you put in....
Ice-Cream, Hugs, Gifts, Wild rides at the fair-ground, Cool Tunes, Good memories, Screentime (!) ...basically anything of the instant gratification variety. It's a buzz. Feels REALly nice in the moment. And it's KINDa addictive.
We think of this one, as the Bliss of Joy.
'Pleasure' as a way in to Joy is very subjective. We all have things that we like better than others like them. But what unites our different pleasures is in how easily they come to us. They're usually gained simply and often passively.
Read minimum effort on our part !! Segue way to our next ticket to joy...
PRETTY obvs really. This one requires effort to pay off. We all know it. That winning feeling! It's brilliant. There's such a rush in this one. But usually that's because we've had to work at it.
The best bit is there's no losing! Because when you don't win what you'd wanted the first go-round, what you ARE winning is resilience every time you get back up again and go for it that second, third, fourth time round...
Setting yourself a task of any kind, be it a book to read, a project to complete, a grade to hit, a race to run, a musical instrument to play, a presentation to give or starting and holding onto a healthy habit can be a REAL challenge.
Science has proven by brain scanning as well as multiple qualitative research studies, that no pleasure can hit the joy level in the same way as kicking goals in this space.
We think of this one, as the Fire of Joy.
Finding your purpose can be a great way in to holding onto your joy when instant pleasures and winning at your challenges just aren't happening for you.
Research has proven that finding a meaning can increase your personal sense of self and reduce your desire to compare yourself with others too. Healthy - particularly during Tween + Teenhood.
In fact science goes so far as to say that by finding and following your sense of purpose with compassion, not only will you be emotionally happier; you will likely be healthier and live longer. Just be sure to maintain balance in this and not overwhelmed with 'helping tasks' ! For tips on managing that balance also see our article on Energy, by Mr Hall. It's a good'n 👍
We think of this, as the Stamina of Joy.
So whether you're fighting for the environment like 16 year old Greta Thunberg or for human rights like Selena Gomez who made Unicef ambassador age 17; or for the many other varied and all worthwhile pursuits that can add meaning to your existence in this wonderful life; know that as well as doing good for others, you are also bringing more Joy to you.
Our Joy challenge:
Try mixing up your sources of JOY.
As well as BLISSful ways into Joy, try adding some FIRE + STAMINA too. And let us know where it takes you. We love positive feedback. You can choose to either write your JOY notes to firstname.lastname@example.org and / or tag us on Insta @realprettykind #thisisrealpretty
Go grab your joy beauties ! And Happy Days your way,